Welcome to Growbox Hill

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Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bee growing like that..

So the plant race is on, lol. Been doing some action around here already. So much so I can actually give a kitchen window report.

Some of the earliest herbs are coming up, basil and lime basil I planted last month. A no show was the lemon basil, I have now sowed the last of the seed that I had. New up in seeding is thyme, oregano, lemon balm and wormwood.
No sign of hyacinth seedlings, but I think the first of the alliums has sprouted. Now if only all the rest of the tray would do something, lol.
Been shufling around some tomato cuttings. One each of silvery fir leaf and totem tomatoes have their own red solo cups. The others are not showing such favorable development, and I've lost a few plugs too :( But hey, if I can get these ones to really go, it's a win. And so far with the planting of the seed testing- the totems are leggy as hell, the freds are really good, and the Snow Whites are leggy.  I don't plan on starting up more tomato seed for a couple weeks at least though. And I moved both the totem mother plants out to the solarium- if they make it, great, if they don't oh well. At this point I have stable and high germinating seed stock and cutting action going on.
Started all the peppers. Yes, all of them. A dozen kinds too. Sigh. I can't seem to help myself. Not the scorching hot deadly weapon round that last year was, though there are plants coming back this year. It is indeed a bit early, but I have some pretty darn good season extending going on now, and I would rather get peppers off to their action a bit earlier than later. And really, it's only about a week earlier than last year. Anywho, enough second guessing myself with this one, lol. All the overwintered pepper plants- Aji Lemon, Fatali, Costeno Amrillio, 7-pot brain strain yellow, and Martians carrot- are in excellent health.

Now I'm going back into what feels like a forever holding pattern, lol. Now I have hit some of my earliest on 12 week action, it's just hover and wait for weeeekkksss at a time. Lol, patience is not my virtue at the moment.
I cleaned up all of my trade seed today- and tossed 95% of it into the IDGAF bucket. The bucket is now just about full enough for me to make some mega seed bomb action out of it. I want to bomb the living beejeebers out of the north line of the wild walk this year. I got more than enough random seed in the bucket now to make an actual impact on this plan. I also have a heap of good popcorn seed and a heap and then some of black oil sunflower seed too. With a lot of wild luck, I will be establishing some rather nice foodly growing border action. I still have a bunch of commercial seed bombs to use this year as well nicely enough.

And on a general whining I want note. Seriously want to procure and learn how to use a scythe well. For real.

Back onto yard and garden, lol. All the indoor growing is going well in general, and looking forward to good bounty come summer.

Another day, another entry.. I think the above is from the third, and today is the 5th..

Been doing a bit of plant cleanup. I potted up more tomatoes to red solo cups. From six each of Totem and Silvery Fir Tree, I now have three Totem and two Silvery Fir Tree  that have graduated up to solo cups. The SFT mother has been cut for a while now, the two Totem mothers are now out in the solarium to see what happens with the chill.
Took six Beaver Lodge Slicer cuttings off the three struggling mothers. I nixed the weakest one, willing to sacrifice the one almost bigger tomato for the good of the cuttings I got. The other two are healthier, and are well staked. And both have either fruit growing or strong bud clusters opening, so it looks possible to still get seed stock as well as clones going on.
The Copper River is vining along, a single 4 foot vine now. And finally starting to show both flower bud sign and has a sucker or two that would be suitable for cuttings. It got moved to the floor today because it's getting so tall, lol. And it got a couple new 6 foot bamboo rods to grow up onto.
I pulled the Dwarf Wild Fred and Snow White Cherry seedlings today. I couldn't kill them when they passed their germination test, but the are simply tooo leggy, and I will start again in a few weeks. The Totem seedlings are stubby and looking great.

Took a half dozen cuttings from the Aji Lemon pepper today, and got those under the dome. The plant needed trimming, and no sense in letting good cuttings go to waste since I currently have the space for them. The 7-pot Brain Strain Yellow required a harsh cutting today, all of it's new tip action. It was infested with something that were tiny, white, and made webs. We shall see if the harsh cutting is good or not. 

And on the food front.. it's citrus season. Seriously. In the depths of cold as a mutha, it's citrus season. Now is the time to perk up on massive doses of tart and sweet juicy sunshine. Over the last few weeks grapefruits and massive naval oranges have been 1/10, clementines are going on clearance here and there, and limes and lemons are running around two bucks a bag.
So we had a lot in pitchers of lemonaide, and a lot of fresh eating. But now we are starting to run down on the glut, lol. That meant it was time to take time for some preserving.
I took two grapefruit, four clementines, three lemons, and about a dozen limes to make up three cups of juice. Whew. Made a pitcher of aide right away, but the other two cups are in a bottle in the fridge, awaiting either more fresh goodness or to be frozen into cubes for later use.
That left me with a lot of citrus rinds. So much so that I felt I should be doing something more than just tossing them into the compost pile. So I took the ones that had been best rendered out of flesh and juice, and filled a gallon jar about half full with the rinds. Then I used about 3/4 of a gallon of white vinegar and filled up the jar, totally submerging the fruit. This will sit for 4-6 weeks in the cool dark floor corner of the pantry. Then at the end, I will filter the vinegar, and it will be an excellent homemade cleaner. Yum. Just in time for spring cleaning and thoughts of throwing the windows open :) Still had a few rinds left, and so I'm dehydrating them to a crisp so they can be ground up and my sister can use them in making soap.
It is also avocado season, and I picked four very nice ones the other day while they were still rock hard. Now they have ripened on the counter and we have been snacking those up, mostly tossed with lime juice, yum. And of course now the pits are balanced on toothpicks in glasses of water.

And just as a random cool thing to think about promoting..

Do you realize, with the Superbowl coming up..
If every single person making guac this weekended saved their avocado pits, and gave them to local schools for spring growing programs...
We could potentially teach thousands or even tens of thousands of kids about how seeds grow. Give them a really cool science project to look forward to in school.
Think about it. Right now, there are lots of schools throughout the country that have no current growing program. But a lot of those areas still see the influx of fresh avocados for the Superbowl every year. Kids that normally would not see any sort of growing program could now do so.. thanks to football. 

If you don't have any avocado pits... but you do have leftover red solo cups or perhaps empty jars from salsas and cheezy dips, or plastic tubs from other dips and salads.. Perhaps consider saving those up and then schools don't need to buy any pots- those are being recycled and kicked in too!

Support your football team through local farming.. Grow an avocado. Support your local school through your love of Superbowl.. Get your school on the avocado pit program.

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